Australian Open – quarterfinals

 4th quarterfinal:

(1)Novak Djokovic d. (5)David Ferrer            6-4, 7-6(4), 6-1                 [2:44 h]

Ferrer is one of the toughest match-ups for Djokovic, not in the majors though. Their overall H2H is 7-5, but in Grand Slam events the Serb won in straight sets all their three meetings, every time having some troubles only in one set, this time it was the second one in which Ferrer led 5:4* after being broken at the beginning (ribreak in the 4th game) and 4:2 in the tie-break. The defending champion had a problem in the 2nd set with his left hamstring… So, no surprises in the first Slam of the year, just like during the last French Open and US Open, the four best players in the world advanced to the semifinals. The hierarchy is clearly established, four guys far away ahead, then three others (Ferrer, Tsonga, Berdych), then a group of guys between No. 8 and 20 where each one has a decent chance to beat the other. “I played a good game,” admitted last year’s semifinalist Ferrer. “I had my chance in the second set, in the tie-break maybe at 4-5. But when I lost the second set, he played better than me. I am happy with my game.” The Spaniard lost first official match of the year after winning eight in a row.

 3rd quarterfinal:

 (4)Andy Murray d. (24)Kei Nishikori           6-3, 6-3, 6-1                        [2:12 h]

The draw has been  perfectly  working in Murray’s favor since the second round: Roger-Vasselin instead of Malisse, Llodra instead of Bogomolov, Kukushkin instead of Monfils, Nishikori instead of Tsonga – arguably each time an easier opponent to beat than would have been. After three grueling rounds in succession, Nishikori hadn’t left too much fuel in his tank for a demanding physical battle under the dazzling Sun against a similar retriever to himself. There were plenty of ‘deuce’ games, many break points had been saved by the Japanese, yet Murray controlled the match throughout. Nishikori has been in a form of his life since Autumn ’11 but needs to avoid involving in difficult matches against inferior opponents (like in the 2nd round in Melbourne last week when he was 3-6, 1-6, *3:4  vs. Ebden) to compete with the best players at the crucial stages of the biggest tournaments. Murray goes to a fifth major semifinal in a row with high hopes; easy matches have already been finished for him because only the best players in the world are still in the tournament.

2nd quarterfinal:

(2)Rafael Nadal d. (7)Tomas Berdych           6-7(5), 7-6(6), 6-4, 6-3          [4:16 h]

The first 75-minute set was stunning, especially at the end. Berdych leading 6:5* accelerated the pace which gave him a triple set point. First he missed a risky shot, then Nadal showed his exceptional defensive skills, responding a couple times on Berdych’s furious ground-strokes and finally passed the Czech with a subtle forehand. He clenched his fist in typical style for the first time and saved the third set point with a service winner. The fourth set point – Nadal’s forehand winner just after the return. It seemed that Berdych is boiled in the tie-break, Nadal led 5:3, but the Czech has been playing tie-breaks with enormous confidence in the last 12 months, and made two winners on Nadal’s serves to get the fifth set point. Nadal argued with Carlos Bernardes who refused to challenge the Berdych’s next to last stroke in the rally at 5 all. Berdych stayed cool in the meantime and fired an ace to clinch the set. The second set was even more interesting, Berdych trailed 2:5, *5:6 (30-40), set point saved with a serve-and-volley action, and 1:4 in the tie-break, but almost won the set, at set point for himself attacked the net and played two decent volleys missing the second one. He followed up with two unforced errors, Nadal broke his streak of four winning consecutive sets in tie-breaks and it was the beginning of the end for the 26-year-old man from Valašské Meziříč. In the 3rd set Nadal took control over the occurrences, initially he was 0:2* down, but broke back to “love”, established a safe 4:2 lead to catch the momentum. Berdych was trying to get back to the game in the 4th set, unfortunately for him there’s no better specialist of 4-hour matches than Nadal. The Spaniard as usual was more eager and snappy near the the 4-hour mark, in the 4th set he had break points in Berdych’s four service games, breaking him twice and sealed the 10th straight victory over the Czech on his first match point with a forehand return fifteen minutes before midnight. “The King of Clay” lost the quarterfinals in Melbourne in the last two editions, struggling physically during both defeats, this time it seems he’s fantastically prepared  to the event, and I’m looking forward to his semifinal against the arch-rival Federer.

 1st quarterfinal:

(3)Roger Federer d. (11)Juan Martin del Potro        6-4, 6-3, 6-2               [1:59 h]

The 1000th match # in Federer’s career was almost a copy of his previous major quarterfinal against Tsonga in New York. It’s tough to say that Federer’s opponents played poorly, simply the Swiss showed a sublime tennis from start to finish on both occasions. He raced to a 3:0 lead in the 1st set today which meant he extended his streak of straight winning games against Del Potro on Rod Laver Arena to 16 (!) – he beat him 6-3, 6-0, 6-0 in the quarterfinal three years ago. Del Potro managed to break back, but his hopes ended at 4 all (15-0) – since then it was all Federer. The Argentine had 67% of the 1st serve but Federer looked like a guy who could break opponent’s serve each time when he tried a little bit more. He finished a rather disappointing encounter with a backhand down the line on the first match point. The former No. 1 never reached a Grand Slam semifinal before, losing fewer games than this year! “I’m moving well. I’m serving well. I’m hitting the ball clean. Today, I thought it was a very hot day with fast conditions. From now on basically it’s only night sessions, so it’s going to change now. It’s going to be more athletic and tougher. I’m ready for that.” stated the self-confident Swiss.

# Eight players to participate in 1000 matches (singles) in the Open era:
1. Jimmy Connors – 1,519
2. Ivan Lendl – 1,310
3. Guillermo Vilas – 1,207
4. Andre Agassi – 1,144
5. Stefan Edberg – 1,076
6. John McEnroe – 1,073
7. Ilie Nastase – 1,044
8. Roger Federer – 1,000
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11 Responses to Australian Open – quarterfinals

  1. David says:

    Nadal vs Berdych 4h16′. I think that is the longer 4-setter match at Grand Slam since Nadal vs Mathieu (Roland Garros’2006) 4h53′

    In your thread http://www.menstennisforums.com/showthread.php?t=89471 isn’t included (list of longest match by time and by year) Nadal vs Đoković 4h02′ in Madrid’2009

    Other data: Berdych won 4 straight sets at TB (first at Grand Slam since Montañés at Roland Garros’2008) but I didn’t find a player that won 5; do you know anyone?

    Thanks for all

  2. Joca says:

    Nastase played 1044 ATP matches

  3. Voo de Mar says:

    David:
    Djokovic-Nadal isn’t included because that thread concerns “the best of five” matches

    During today’s match I thought that Berdych would be the first to win 5 consecutive tie-breaks sets in Grand Slam. Beside him and Montanes also Arthurs(Wimbledon ’99) and Ivanisevic (Wimbledon ’98) won 4 in a row.

    Joca:
    I took the numbers from wiki today :(
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ATP_World_Tour_records

    • bry17may says:

      Be careful with that page in Wikipedia, there are the records since 1,972 don´t count 1968-1971 of the open era so they have a couple of number change.

      Jimmy Connors have 1519 and Guillermo Vilas 1207

      • Voo de Mar says:

        Thanks. Now I understand why my correction of Nastase’s number of winning matches in Masters wasn’t accepted there 😮 It’s a bit annoying that even something what looks reliable is not.

        • bry17may says:

          That is bad :(, a lot of poublication in internet took this information of this page in wikipedia, I think that they have to change that but some persons don’t accept the change

  4. Joca says:

    Don’t worry m8, we are better than Wiki and ATP togehter 😛

  5. St-Denis says:

    Hi,
    Maybe you don’t know, but yesterday a new record was fell down with the longest match finished in a night session… Do you know this news?

  6. Voo de Mar says:

    Doubles match between the Bryans and the Poles?

  7. St-Denis says:

    Yes, it’s about the double match! The Bryans and Fyrstenberg/ Matkowski finished around 2:15 am, in double I guess it’s a new record!… Well, I remember in US open 1981, John Newcombe/ Fred Stolle played a long match vs David Graham/ Bruce Nichols, a match finished around 2:00 am (all in local time!)… Even if Newcombe and Stolle wasn’t again pro-players, it was an incredible challenge to play well and win again…

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